Warm down: Foxes squander a two goal lead to draw with Napoli
Ayoze Perez (right) battles for the ball against Napoli on Thursday night in the Europa League

Leicester City surrendered a two-goal lead to only take a draw in their first game in the Europa League at the King Power Stadium against Napoli on Thursday night.

Brendan Rodgers named a completely different side to Saturdays defeat as he gave home debuts to Patson Daka and Boubakary Soumaré as well as recalling Ayoze Perez and Johnny Evans to the starting line up after suspension and injury respectfully.

Napoli had dominated possession early on with Italian superstar Lorenzo Insigne smashing wide when he should have done better. Someone who had done better since his last appearance was Ayoze Perez who was sent off again West Ham in August, volleyed home a Harvey Barnes cross as Leicester hit Napoli on the break in the ninth minute.

The Foxes were lucky to lead into the half-time break with Insigne wasting another opportunity and eventual goal scorer Victor Osimhen blazing over the bar after Perez had gifted the ball to the Italians in the first half.

Leicester looked to have sealed a second goal through Zambian international Daka as he looked to have beaten the offside flag and smash home his first goal for the Foxes. However, VAR overturned his effort due to being offside by what only looked millimetres.

However, the second goal did come and was not offside as Leicester hit Napoli again on the counter this time Nigerian star Kelechi Iheanacho playing Barnes in with a pass just behind him, but the academy star stunned Kévin Malcuit with a quick stepover before crashing the ball into the bottom corner beyond former Arsenal keeper David Ospina and sending the home fans bonkers with what looked like a fantastic win against one of Europe’s elite.

Napoli, who beat Juventus on Saturday were left stunned but kept their composure with further attacks on the Leicester goal and were rewarded for their efforts with a great individual goal after Elif Elmas played in Osimhen who out-stretched and out-fought Jannik Vestergaard before lifting the ball over Kasper Schmeichel with 20 minutes to go.

The Foxes were now on the backfoot with the Italians pressing the backline deeper and deeper and were eventually made to pay with Matteo Politano crossing a delightful ball for Osimhen to climb up above Caglar Soyuncu and glance home the leveller and celebrated infront of a small away section.

The tiring Foxes sent on talisman Jamie Vardy to try and pinch the game at the end but were left a man down as Wilfried N’didi picked up his second yellow late on and ultimately any hope of another famous European night down on Filbert way.

  • Are we going to get used to a wobbly defence?

Surrendering a two-goal lead is something what Leicester fans are not used to as this was the first time Leicester have had a 2+ goal lead in a home match but failed to win since September 2016 against Chelsea. They had won each of their previous 47 such matches before Thursday but that record has now dismantled just like the city defence. Again.

Johnny Evans slotted back in the heart of the back four nicely and looked comfortable all evening until he was substituted with what was later revealed as the same foot injury which kept him out since the FA Cup final and upon the introduction of Soyuncu, Leicester never really looked comfortable when under pressure and that shown when Osimhen levelled up for the Italians.

Vestergaard produced a great display against Manchester City with key blocks and vital interceptions but looked slightly uncomfortable in the first half and looked very uneasy in the second getting bullied off the ball for Osimhen’s first goal. A weakness which Leicester and Rodgers must fix if we are to play regular European football at a higher level.

  • Up next
     

Leicester travel to Brighton and Hove Albion on Sunday for a teatime kick off with the Seagulls starting the season well winning three games out of four and lying comfortable in sixth place having already seen the likes of Brentford, Watford and Burnley this season. Kick off at 2:00 and is live on Sky Sports Main Event

 






 

 

 

 

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